Not Another Networking Article – WHY?

Why Is Networking Valuable?

Statistics show that 60 to 70% of all executive positions are found through networking with others. The American Association of Senior Executives (AASE), reports that 54% of their members attributed getting their new position to networking at AASE meetings. That is a large percent considering each meeting on average has about 40 executives in attendance.

Why is it so high? Mainly because the AASE preaches the right way to network. Every executive is shown why networking, when done correctly, is not a business card exchange. Networking that pays off is about relationships, and most importantly, networking must be done with a specific purpose and goal. Otherwise, why do it?

You should never ever attend a networking group or meet anyone just for the purpose of networking. It is a complete waste of time. Not every networking group is the right group for everyone. Likewise, not every person is worth spending time with.

Just because a group has a large turn out doesn’t mean it is a good thing or a good place for you to make a connection. In fact, I would argue this could be a bad thing. For example, if 200 people attend a networking meeting and the one person that could really help you in your search is at this meeting, you have a 5% chance of meeting this person. They will be lost somewhere in the crowd. It is random luck if you meet them.

Instead target your networking groups or meetings. Attend only those networking meetings that add value to your search. For example, the functional area (marketing, accounting, sales) gets exposure in your geographical area, the people attending are your peers i.e. VPs with VPs. C level with C level, the number of people attending is manageable so you meet the right people, etc. There are a lot of groups out there that just don’t add value to your search, so don’t attend them. This is networking with a purpose.

Pre-qualify people prior to meeting them. You don’t need to meet everyone. All you will accomplish is building a big stack of business cards. As a recruiter, when someone refers a person to me for a search, I always pre-qualify the person. I will ask the person doing the referral about the person’s background, industries, experiences and if they don’t match what my client is looking for, I thank the person for the name but let them know the referral isn’t right for this position. This has saved me hundreds of hours phone interviewing unqualified people. You can do the same. Put together a few screening questions that will clarify if this person will help you move closer to your goal of either a job lead, meeting a person that you need to meet, has the introduction you need, or not.

Too often the person referring someone to you, although sincere, isn’t referring someone to help you. Why waste your time? Thank them and move on. This is networking with a purpose.

A few other things to remember when networking:

· Networking is NOT drinking coffee and exchanging business cards.

· Networking is connecting with others by getting to know them on a personal basis and helping each other.

· Your personal participation in a networking group will show others the you can organize, lead and manage.

· When others learn more about you, they will forward opportunities, make introductions and may even recommend you for positions.

· GIVE BACK! Don’t forget those that helped you.

Most importantly, let people know where you are. Future career opportunities often come from someone who remembered you in the past.

Our comprehensive job search workbook has extensive chapters on networking, including a networking exercise to help you maximize your time. You can review this book for only the $5 cost of shipping. CLICK HERE to review the contents.

Join our Linkedin Job Search Networking Group. We post new articles and discussions almost daily to this group. CLICK HERE to join the group.

Please give us your comments and feedback.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  • By Sam Diener, September 26, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

    Very good information. I like your writing! Consider me a new RSS subscriber. If you would like, check out my networking work as well.

  • By Barry Deutsch, September 27, 2009 @ 12:14 pm


    Thanks for your kind comments. I checked out your site. Very well done also.

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